Recap: The girls are preparing the cafeteria for the upcoming auditions for South Pacific. It remains unclear why the school is holding auditions in the cafeteria and not the gymnasium/theater where the production will take place, but whatever. It looks like Blair is in charge of the set design, and she's taking great pride in painting palm trees and creating a faux tropical paradise. Natalie says that her mother is obsessed with her getting the lead role, but insists that she couldn't care less and will be lucky just to get through the audition. Tootie enters the room with a new mushroom shaped 'do and tells everyone she's far too busy studying to audition for the play. Blair's all, "Wuh?" and marvels, "This will be a first: a production without Tootie Ramsey in the lead." The drama teacher, Miss Downes, enters the cafeteria and gives Mrs. Garrett the sign-up sheet for the play. Incidentally, the actress playing Miss Downes also played the saleslady who busted Mrs. Garrett when she thought she had shoplifted an ugly blouse in Season 2.
Natalie tells Tootie she's nervous about auditioning, but Tootie just waves a hand in the air and tells her to chillax. Nancy rushes over and tells Tootie she has to audition 'cause the play needs her...and Tootie tries to explain how busy she is, but gets cut off when Mrs. Garrett announces that the auditions have officially begun. She calls out Natalie's name, and Natalie lumbers over to the piano and nervously glances around the room...but then, a few seconds later, she's confidently belting out, "I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair!" When she finishes, everyone enthusiastically applauds, and Miss Downes tells her to let Mrs. Garrett know which roles she'd be interested in playing. Natalie stonily declares, "I only want the lead role" then tells Mrs. Garrett she only said she was auditioning to make her mother happy so that the fates wouldn't know how badly she wanted the lead role. She grimly says that every time she really wants something, the universe closes a door on her...and then she grins and cackles, "But I fooled them this time!" Her smugness quickly vanishes when Tootie is ushered to the middle of room and starts singing. I guess this means she decided to audition after all. As everyone applauds, Natalie shoots her the stink-eye and looks really peeved.
Natalie's in her bedroom, binging on Oreo cookies when Mrs. Garrett comes in to check on her...and give her the news that Tootie got the lead role. She reminds Natalie that there are still a lot of good parts available, but Natalie just grunts in disinterest. Tootie breezes into the room, and Natalie gives her a snide hello, and Mrs. Garrett wisely beats a hasty retreat. Tootie tells Natalie she had no idea she wanted the part so badly, so Natalie tells her she did and that she's been practicing her singing in the basement. Tootie asks her if there's anything she can do to make it up to her, so Natalie brashly says, "Quit the play." Tootie looks taken aback and goes, "Is there anything else?" and the two start bickering. Tootie explains that the other girls practically pushed her to the front of the room to audition, but Natalie doesn't care and says she'd quit the play if she were really her friend. Tootie snaps back, "You wouldn't ask me to quit if you were really my friend." Touché.
Backstage, Jo is helping Blair with the set design, and for some reason she's scraping out the insides of coconuts. Blair, who's painting more palm trees, remarks how horrible it is living with Natalie and Tootie lately 'cause they're constantly sniping at each other about this contrived conflict. Jo urges Mrs. Garrett to stick her nose into the matter, but Mrs. Garrett insists on letting the nitwits sort out their own problems.
Natalie is wandering around backstage, checking out the coconuts and fake scenery. Across the stage she sees Tootie rehearsing and shoots her a squinty eyed glare. She offers to transport Blair's fake bushes on stage, then places one directly in front of Tootie while she's trying to sing. Subtle, Natalie. When that doesn't do enough to disrupt the rehearsal, Natalie critiques Tootie's singing to Miss Downes, who barks at her to get off the stage. Natalie then turns her attention to the pile of coconuts Jo was working on earlier and gets a lame idea. She rolls a bunch of them toward the stage, and Tootie gets distracted by the coconuts bumping into her feet and stops singing. Natalie peeks onto the stage and tries not to smile as she delivers her line: "Oops! They dropped!" and rushes onto the stage to gather them up. A fed up looking Tootie tells Miss Downes she's going to have a word with Tootie about her sabotage attempts, then goes backstage to give her the what for. She accuses her former bestie of being jealous of her superior performing arts skills, so then Natalie accuses her of always clawing her way to the spotlight. Tootie brusquely offers to give up the lead role, then spitefully adds, "If what you want is charity" and Natalie mulls that over, nods, and says, "Charity's fine" and adds that it'll give her a chance to show everyone that she was better all along. Tootie points out that 12 girls auditioned for the lead role, then says it's possible she was ranked as #12. Natalie becomes enraged by the insult and picks up one of Blair's fake baby palm trees and looks as though she wants to hurl it as Tootie - but Jo rushes over, takes the palm from her, and disapprovingly says, "Nice girls don't throw trees!" Mrs. Garrett arrives on the scene and asks whassup, then decides it's time to interject herself into the boring crisis. Natalie starts ranting incoherently about how Tootie always has to be The Star and has been insensitive to her best friend. Jo asks her if she's jealous, and she chuckles and says, "Don't be ridiculous" then deadpans, "I'm wounded." Jo suggests she blow off some stream by exercising, but Natalie shoots down that idea and says she much prefers revenge. She then smiles evilly and vows to write a review of "Tootie's disastrous performance" and publish it in the school paper...and that she'll start off the review with: "A bomb landed on Eastland tonight." Oh noooo!!
One week later..
Tootie rushes into the cafeteria and asks if the school paper has arrived yet. She says she's dying to read Natalie's review of the play, but Jo says, "No you're not" and tries to get her to go to the library - but she insists on waiting. Jo tells her that Natalie has been planning on "killing" her in the review and that she's been evilly cackling and scribbling stuff in her notebook all week. Mrs. Garrett scrunches her face concernedly and says she doesn't think Natalie would do such a heinous thing, but Tootie isn't so sure and starts to look worried. A few seconds later, Natalie arrives with a stack of newspapers and wants to immediately rush off, but Mrs. Garrett orders her to stick around until after they've read her review of the play. Jo reads it, scrunches her face in puzzlement, and says it's a rave review...and Tootie looks confused and says to Natalie, "I thought you'd fry me." Natalie says she did, and wrote that she was "trite, hammy, and too short for the part". (That's actually a perfect description of Tootie throughout Season 1.) Mrs. Garrett reads aloud the glowing review, and Tootie thanks Natalie - but Natalie suddenly looks sheepish and says, "Don't thank me" and says that her review didn't make the paper. She says she couldn't even bring herself to see the play 'cause she was seething with too much jealousy - but she's working on being a bigger person. Mrs. Garrett praises her candor and honesty, but warns that jealousy can eat away at a person's soul. Tootie walks over to where Natalie is moping and asks her if she's still mad at her, and Natalie's like, "Nah", and the two hug it out.
Mrs. Garrett asks who wrote the review, so Blair starts reading it aloud, and it turns into a puff piece about the exquisite set design. (I guess we can assume that she wrote it.) As she continues to read, everyone tiptoes out of the room - leaving Jo behind, sitting at the table and looking fake appalled.
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